There is more to coastal Florida than swanky chain resorts looming over the ocean taking up swaths of sand with their Guests Only beach lounges. True: when choosing a chain hotel you know what to expect. But the real fun is staying in an independently owned and unique place where real people – families, mom and pops, small business owners – have put their own creative spin and hard work into giving you a true Florida experience.
Can you tell our readers about your mission and what inspired you to start your blog?
Our mission is to guide you to these under-the-tourist-radar destinations. The best places to swim (free parking by the beach, where to find a guarded beach, a dog beach, can you drink on the beach?) play (the best beach bars, when is happy hour, can you arrive by boat?) and stay in coastal Florida.
We began this blog after discovering just such a quirky peaceful paradise set under lush palm trees, overlooking a lagoon right down the street from one of Florida’s top beaches: Siesta Key. The Siesta Key Bungalows has free kayaks, a heated pool, and our bungalow had rich-hued wood floors that sloped slightly with age (the floors there are all tile now!) We fell in love.
After spending the happiest of hours at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar listening to live music surrounded by cheerful people drinking sunset-colored libations, our idea to spread the knowledge of just such a perfect vacation experience to fellow travelers was born.
How would you describe your blogging style?
I would describe our blogging style as a conversation with a good friend who knows you well and wouldn’t steer you to a cookie-cutter experience. Our recommendations are based on personal experience and/or many hours of research as well as speaking with locals and others who have visited the destinations. We are committed to never giving a bad review; if we don’t like a place, we don’t talk about it.
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up an running?
Writing a blog can sometimes feel isolating and even intimidating. It’s me at the keyboard trying to squeeze the best words out of my head. What makes me an expert on this stuff, really? But hearing the kind words and praise from our followers and readers who visit and love a place we’ve recommended – a couple have even gotten married in a location we wrote about! – keeps us motivated and enjoying this avocation we’ve chosen.
What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
To keep visitors coming to our blog… We’re not big on SEO or stats or buying ads (at the current time we have no advertising on our blog at all.) We just want to put good content out there and give our readers value for their visit. Maybe we’d be bigger if we paid closer attention to all the technical background of running a blog and striving to get views. For now we’re just happy to be here!
Our best audience is our loyal and enthusiastic group of followers on Instagram. We’ve encountered so much positivity, fun comments, and supportive people on Instagram. We are often contacted for more personal and detailed recommendations, which we’re glad to give.
What are your goals for next year?
Our goals for next year are to spend more time in the Panhandle, visit the Everglades area, Olde Marco Island, and a couple of tiny towns even WE had never heard of until recently! Stay tuned and keep visiting our blog for more to come!
Thank you so much Marybeth, for sharing your Coastal Florida Travel Tips with us. I am already making a list of these places that I would like to visit!
To see more of Marybeth, follow her beautiful and inspiring Instagram